Special report Behind the label: how fair are organic and Fairtrade bananas?

Repeating Islands

The Dominican Republic’s organic and Fairtrade boom has helped banana growers but what about the slum-dwelling Haitian migrant workers? Tom Levitt reports on the plight of the forgotten people in the banana trade in this article for The Ecologist.

Like many young Dominicans, Federico left for the US when he finished school to look for work, ending up in a Spanish store in New York. After 20 years working seven days a week he grew tired of the long hours and yearned for his homeland and the tropical climate of the Caribbean.
He had heard about the booming banana trade with the export market growing fast, a cheap and plentiful workforce, and land and water in abundance. It seemed like an ideal opportunity, with money to be made for entrepreneurs willing to set up a plantation. Today he is half way towards his dream, 35 hectares of indigenous forest…

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